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      ~ It’s dark here ~

      Focus on our voices, continue to follow the flow…
      I think I can hear something…
      It’s like rain…

      Yes, just like the rain a dreamy voice answered the little girl


        “My yellow is fine and dandy”
        Said green hued sickly Mandy
        “You’re mad to suggest
        A yellow sick fest”
        Said sickly green hued Mandy.


        That wasn’t one of your finest, dear, said Tina disparagingly.
        Becky sighed. I need to find a Limerick support group.

        Mandy felt better at once
        “I feel better than I have in months.
        You may be mad,
        And that is sad!
        But now I fancy some lunch.”


        These are special Kuzhebarian Healing Limericks you know, Becky said a trifle huffily. Nobody appreciates my limericks.

        Mr X is making some rice.
        It’ll be ready in just a trice;
        All soupy and wet,
        She’ll feel better I bet
        In a trice, at a modest price.


        “You tried”, she said with a smirk
        “But I doubt if it will work”

        Tina interrupted: “You tried she said with a sigh”

        Becky sighed. I was hoping you’d smirk dear, she said to Tina. The word smirk is on my ’100 things challenge’ list.
        Tina rolled her eyes and Becky continued:

        “But the poppy is making me high!
        So thanks for that!
        I’ll eat my hat.”
        She said, “Now I’m starting to fly!”


        Mandy flies off down the street,
        Smiling gaily at all she meets
        “I’m high, I can fly!”
        She said with a sigh
        Of joyous delight. How sweet!


        Mongloose had a moment of doubt
        “I fear she is still in a prout.
        But one never does know
        How these healing rhymes flow
        Before long she’ll be up and about.”

        :yahoo_idk: :heart:


          Master Tfark , I am pleased to hear that this mission will soon bring me what I requested.
          — We are here to serve, Madam, answered obsequiously the chief of the magpies gang. As long as, of course, the promised payment is ready.
          — Wasn’t the first part of the payment satisfactory? snapped the woman with an aggressiveness so subtle that no one could have said that there was even a single trace of rudeness in her voice.
          — Yes Madam, the device you provided worked perfectly. We are eager to continue our little arrangements.
          — Very well. Bring the Arachnid Skull quickly now.


            Becky arrived at the cafe twenty minutes late, looking breathless and disheveled. Scanning the room with a wild eye, she spotted Tina engrossed in a magazine in a booth in the far corner. Flopping down on the leatherette seat, Becky ran her hands through her hair and said Holy Moly, Tina, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.

            BREATHE, replied Tina, in a deeply resonant voice, a trifly mischeivously, Becky thought. Breathe into YOU…..

            Oh bugger off Tina, Becky said affectionately. Thanks for coming at such short notice.

            Well, out with it then, Becks, what’s the panic this time? What fine pickle have you got yourself into now?

            Becky glanced surreptiously over her shoulder, and then leaning over the table whispered to Tina, Promise you won’t tell anyone? Not even Sam and Al?

            Tina frowned. Not even Sam and Al?

            Seeing Becky’s crumpled face, Tina quickly agreed, saying, Oh alright then, but what’s the big secret? Not that there ARE any secrets….

            Yes there bloody well ARE secrets Tina, and this is one of them! Promise not to tell ANYONE!

            Alright, alright! Calm down and spit it out, for Gawds sake! Tina said.

            Remember when I was in the park? In that tarty nun outfit? Becky continued, in a loud whisper.

            How could I forget?

            Well, something happened! In the bushes, with this guy, a guy from the future, a time traveller.

            Tina raised one eyebrow in disbelief.

            It’s no good looking at me like that Tina, I’m telling you it happened. And what’s more, I’m pregnant, and he’s the father.

            Tina’s mouth fell open in surprise, and then she said, You TART! You haven’t been married a week! You haven’t even been on your blimmen honeymoon yet!

            Well, actually, replied Becky huffily, Don’t you think it’s kind of cool?

            What happened then, Becky, do tell! Tina was intrigued.

            And Becky proceeded to tell Tina all about it, first entreating her again not to tell anyone.


              Old Narani is becoming too soft.
              While the attraction of the hole was intensely beckoning, Phurt had been appointed by a strange twist of fate to the guard of the prisoners by the Old Mother.

              Bugger Narani whisspered Phurt, why not just kill them, these stupid two-legged animals. Why the pain of keeping them alive? Good thing the daily dose of sedative venom had them quiet now. They would only scare the mooing preys. Stupid, stupid.
              Of course, it would be easy to just sink a little more than usual her sharp tooth into their neck so fragile. A regrettable accident…
              Phurt couldn’t help but smile a grin as wide as her hairy eight-eyed face. But she wasn’t known as the Doctor of Breath for nothing. Her mere breath could be as sweet as a jasmine scent or terribly deadly. She had never missed a target, never could have.
              She was no mere Spinner; how could the Mother have put her to such a slighting task. Degrading. For her, the most promising Hunter of her generation to be doing this while they all were securing the hole perimeter.

              She would have to go. Something was nudging her to move, something like a fluid water sound, that whispered that nothing could happen to those prisoners. No one would be fool enough to dare to enter the Nest.
              Ahaha, why would she care? Nobody would know. And the little ones would alert her in any case.

              With a prodigious jump, she sprung to the forest in the direction of the hole. She couldn’t be denied her destiny.


              Is it gone now? a voice whispered under a pile of giant ferns
              I think it is growled Araili’s voice Thanks to the Snoot’s power of suggestion, I suppose… The Snoot might find spiders eggs delicacy enough to help us in our rescue operation.
              Shall we go there now? Kay? Ready to go and report back if everything’s clear?


              Rafaela was not finding it very difficult to jump on the rocky slopes. It was only difficult for her to remember to stay physically focused so that Anita wouldn’t fall to a certain death. And of course, even more difficult to resist to the attraction of nibbling a few crunchy thistles and brambles that grew here and there.
              But Yuki’s attention was here to remind her, and so far, their progression had been smooth and easy.

              But all of a sudden, the small pink nose of Yuki raised in quicker spasms sniffing the air intently.
              What? What? asked Rafaela who almost forgot her focusing. What?! Did I fart or something?

              Anu who was having the time of her life jumping on the coarse back of the goat giggled at her clueless question.

              — I think the spiders are moving too. We’ll be reaching the hole before them, and the Snoot tells me they won’t be moving close to it. But they won’t let anything or anyone get out of it. Let’s hope dear Armelle will spot a path for our friends.
              — Not to worry, Rafaela said matter-of-factly, Army is good at spoohtting. She’s the best I know at that.
              — OK, let’s move on…


              Claude was finally seeing a pinhole of light, at a close distance. He could just continue to crawl out his way to the light, and he would soon be release. And to cheer him up, he reminded himself that no man nor beast he feared, with his phenomenal strength agility and speed he now had. Too bad he didn’t have any time to get a proper super-hero attire he smiled to himself.


              On Tikfijikoo, the Magpie’s energy maze-cloak was now lift. The fury of the cyclone was now in its full power, and the Magpies were starting their swift deployment.
              The item was left unguarded in the operation room, as far as they could tell, and in the chaos of the elements, surely a few magpies would be unnoticed.

              They had to move quick now. The portal would be opened soon too. They couldn’t come back without bringing “it” back with them.


                Finally catching up with the fluid communication of the Snoot, Yuki realized that they had to move swiftly.

                — I think it’s our chance to move to another place. Well, of course we can do it already Rafaela, please don’t interrupt. I mean, Anu, you have a chance to leave this place and get back to your dimension…
                — And what about my parents, Anu asked preoccupied.
                — Mmm, that’s another thing I had not yet thought about…

                There, Akita interrupted.

                — I know where those beasts gather, me and Kay could do a raid to their place, we can have a chance to free your parents when the spiders go for hunting.
                — I could help too, Araili said menacingly, baring its sharp teeth.

                — Oh fine then, Yuki said… A rabbit won’t probably be of much use to you then…
                — And of course, you have forgotten how to shapeshift, almost said Armelle, but she only rolled her eyes twice while bitting her beck. (quite a feat to witness, the narrator thinks)
                — I’ll follow the Snoot’s indication and lead the way to the pinhole, Yuki continued. Rafaela will come with us, to take Anu on her back, so that she doesn’t get hurt in the rocky cliffs.
                — Beh, said Rafaela, with a wisp of fresh herb tinted drool on her chin
                — No “but”, please. Armelle, I count on you to show our rescue team where the pinhole is located. No we have to move quickly. The pinhole is getting bigger by now, and though time lasts usually longer here than in Anu’s dimension, there are fluctuations we can’t forecast.

                And the two groups parted.


                Meanwhile, Claude was finding his progress inside the tree (but was it really a tree?) more and more difficult, as though the conduit was getting smaller and smaller. He paused for a moment.
                A deep cracking sound seemed to be heard in the distance. He had to continue…


                In reply to: Synchronicity


                  Some interesting syncs:

                  Discussing the comment on Franiel and Vincentius with Francie, some things of interest:

                  F: hahaha i laughed at the egg bit :egg_wink:
                  E: bit silly I reckon :)) but somehow it synch’ed with two movies we’ve been watching yesterday
                  F: yes, good to have a bit of silly in our otherwise serious story :|
                  E: In one, there is that :ghost: ghost girl who stalks her husband new love affair, and ends up speaking through a parrot
                  And the other, there is this shaman old woman who remote-views her people went on a quest, and ends up dying in stead of a girl, so that the young one lives…

                  F: oh that is like your plants in the courtyard dream too —just had a recollection of you saying one gave up its pot for the other one
                  E: Oh yes, true… Perhaps it’s just like a layering, like you do for strawberries, you use parts of the roots to do new plants…
                  “Layering is more complicated than taking cuttings, but has the advantage that the propagated portion can continue to receive water and nutrients from the parent plant while it is forming roots.”

                  E: “In air layering (or marcotting), the target region is wounded and then surrounded in a moisture-retaining wrapper such as sphagnum moss ;))

                  Peat moss is also a critical element for growing mushrooms” that’ll make Tracy happy :))
                  In New Zealand, care is taken during the harvesting of sphagnum moss=))

                  F: “it can also be used as a substrate for tarantulas as it is easy to burrow into:spider:

                  E: “Such Sphagnum bogs can also preserve human hair and clothing, one of the most noteworthy examples being Egtved Girl , Denmark”. Egg and B.C. sync :))

                  F: cool name, Egtved. Oh thats interesting about the Egtved girl: due to be public this month
                  E: oh, well spotted!
                  F: shall we all pop over and check it out
                  E: Ahahaha sure :world:


                    Another probable Becky hit send on her computer, and grinned wickedly. She had amused herself greatly writing her new storyline for the Reality Play, it had taken her mind off her cold.

                    Becky wandered into the kitchen where Sean was clearing up after dinner and gave him a kiss. That rhubarb crumble was delicious darling, wherever did you learn to cook like that!

                    Aha, replied Sean, It’s a secret recipe of Manon’s, she made me swear not to tell anyone. The secret, he continued, and dropped his voice to an enigmatic whisper, The secret is the groiselles.

                    Sean picked up the empty crumble dish to put it in the dishwasher, revealing a handwritten note that had been underneath it.

                    Sean recognized Becky’s handwriting, and smiled fondly at her. Oh, what have we here! he said, and started to read. Becky was frowning, perplexed. She hadn’t written a note to Sean in THIS probability!


                      Al had just inadvertently telepathically overheard Becky’s long monologue, and was rather amused at the situation that he decided to stay quiet and refrain from intervening.
                      It was a sort of interesting experience, to see how it would develop…

                      A voice was starting to make itself heard through Becky’s neuronal pathways though… A feminine voice first… Then a male…
                      He could even sense a third presence too…

                      Al was surprised, as he apparently didn’t really care about what kind of probability would express itself. It seemed it was all valid, and yet, there was something that wanted to make itself heard.

                      Becky was quiet now. She seemed to have finally seen that nothing would happen as intensely and quickly as in her swift imagination.

                      But Al was intrigued… Who were those presence, they felt lively, very humorous too. But they were concerned about Becky’s changes of mood. They were considering probabilities too, as though Becky’s choices were important to them.

                      We are the first-borns of Becky answered the feminine voice who had keep still.
                      Potential first sniggered the male voice.
                      Oh, shut up, Oliver the third one said you know well enough we are creating our realities, so better give her some time… No need to freak her out… After all, it’s like for Dory’s nine dogs, they only came gradually, and she just accepted them…

                      Dory? Al was wondering… He had heard that name recently… At the wedding party perhaps?

                      Dory’s a past overlapping focus of Becky and her step-mother too… answered Léan, the quiet one.

                      Al was befuddled. He had first thought these voices were only Becky’s playing games with herself.

                      Oh sure it was, answered Oliver, we’ve just be using that wave of thoughts to bring us through. It’s very multi-layered.
                      See, take the dogs which Illana talked about right now. You know some of these dogs Dory had (or has, or will have), they have “flecks” of people close to Dory, other essences’ energies. Some are very clearly noticeable, other are more mingled. These voices are multiplexes of voices, more or less subtle energies being expressed. Some are very deep. We were riding the surface of them.

                      So, Illana, Lean and Oliver? That’s it?… Nice to meet you… Al was still thinking aloud (like in big characters printed on a silent kaleidoscopic screen)
                      And that will be your focus names? Oh, yes… probable ones.
                      It’s funny you know, it’s like you are becoming more real now. I can feel some associations coming that help bring you into form. Like Oliver, I associate him with a black dog of Dory. A little grumpy one with funny black eyes.

                      The two female laughters mingled into one delightful chorus. Ahaha, we will give you a point for accurate connection!

                      “And Léan,” Al continued, “you feel like a young blond woman, friend of Dory ready to get married… Yet, I can see you have a black complexion in this probable focus, unlike your siblings… Sounds a bit confusing…”

                      Ahaha, another point!

                      “Let me see, Illana now… I got you connected with another friend of Dory… An paleontologist or geologist, living in the US, blond lively woman with painted nails, and… the image is just gone now…”

                      — Hehehe, that’s close enough, said Illana’s voice. I can see we’ll meet soon Al

                      And the moment after, the wisps of light were gone.


                        Becky’s heart was racing and her breath was coming in short rasping breaths. I need to change probabilities, and I need to do it fast! There’s not a moment to lose.

                        Maybe I can change the past, she thought, change it to a probability in which I didn’t marry Sean in the first place. Oh Lordy, but how do I do that exactly? Her head was spinning.

                        Maybe I should just run away, now, pack my bags and disappear before Sean gets back from the bar.

                        No, that won’t do, she said, biting her lip in consternation. I want to keep the wedding presents, especially that YouDo doll.

                        Becky rummaged through the pile of magazines, looking for the script of the Reality Play. Oh dear god, if I change probabilities Al and the others will kill me, it will make such a mess of the threads.

                        Becky was distraught. What shall I do! she exclaimed, wringing her hands.

                        BREATHE, a deeply resonant female voice said. BREATHE into YOU, that’s right, BREATHE…..

                        Becky stopped wringing her hands and drew a shaky breath.

                        That’s right, the voice continued, BREATHE into YOU…..

                        Becky took another deep breath.


                        Oh for heavens sake, Becky interrupted rather rudely, That’s enough of that blimmen breathing for now, thank you very much, now bugger off, I need to think.

                        The voice in her head changed to a masculine one, that said with a chuckle, “THINKING” is absolutely FATAL, my dear, just DO what ever is easiest for YOU.

                        You mean, do whatever I want, and bugger everyone else? asked Becky. Wouldn’t that be a bit inconsiderate? I mean, don’t I have a responsibility to the others?

                        HAHAHAH, you are funny, said the voice. Did all that Seth and Elias stuff go in one ear and out the other?

                        What Seth and Elias stuff? Haha, just kidding, of course I remember it all. Reading about it and actually DOING it, well, they are two different things……her voice trailed off, and she frowned, deep in thought.

                        Thinkin’ aint doing, said the voice.


                          When he first witnessed how the traveling portals worked, Badul had been greatly impressed. No such magic existed on Asgurdy, and even though is was supposed to be a small portal, it was greater magic than anything his imagination could have devised.
                          He and his crew were so much impressed that Badul had required his small crew to settle down so that they can study further the thing. Tomkin had frowned a bit, as he was eager to continue and above all to leave this uncharted district ruled by a fierce warlord (or “governor”, as it was required to address him) in a moistly forest miles away from any living creature, but then again, Badul’s orders were not to be discussed.

                          The portal was constituted of a wide circle of heavy limestones, with two crossing arched vaults made of limestones too, with smaller blue stones incrustations of various shapes tucked into round holes regularly scattered along the vaults. These smaller stones could apparently be rearranged, and Tomkin and Badul quickly figured out they were used to determine the coordinates of the various places they would be traveling to. This portal, they’ve been explained had a set of other stones, ocher and dark red ones which were not part of the traditional set of the main network on the continent. Their design was not overly displayed as the others which were left on the portal at all times. They were carried on the spot by one of the generals of the local governor, and used under strict guidelines, for fear that the parallel network would be uncovered.

                          It took Badul a dozen of hexades to relinquish his fear of the unknown magic that made people disappear and reappear in thin air. He was a brave man, and that which he could see with his own eyes was no longer deemed irrational. It was very real, and he could use it. And there was no point in delaying the experience of it, as it was the only way for him to conquer his turmoil.

                          So, on that fine morning of the falling season, he decided to move. Genflik Thran, the local governor, had come to appreciate the help Badul and his men had provided him in loading and unloading the cargoes of goods which were banned on various parts of the Warring Kingdoms nonetheless traded on the black market with great benefits, and occasionally escorting them to some of the nearest villages. But the deal had been made clear from the start: he would allow Badul and his men to use the network in exchange of two hexades of service. In fact, they had repaid the debt largely already.
                          So he agreed to let them go on their journey and provided him and and his crew enough supply to continue their trip for quite some days. And as a token of appreciation, he allowed Badul to choose his destination, a privilege that was rarely granted, as usually people where glad to take whatever ship was about to depart.

                          Badul turned to Tomkin, wondering where they could go next.
                          “There are a few villages I heard of” Tomkin said after having pondered, “in the valleys down Mount Elok’ram. I heard this place is the tallest of the World, and is full of ancient powerful magic. Perhaps we can go to one of these villages, as I don’t think there is any portal on the top of the mountains.”
                          “Ahaha, yes, you’re right” had smiled Genflik Thran “I’ve been heard there is a monastery on top of this mountain, but no portal unless you go in the valleys. Not that they couldn’t have built one, but they thought it would soon become too crowded and… how did they said? Yeah, unholy… with the ease of a portal access. Now, perhaps that with the new Abbott, it will change… who knows. We already have approached him, and he seems a man with a nice sense of compromise, for the good of all, ahahaha!”
                          “What’s this village called?”, asked Badul
                          Chard Dut Jep “ answered Genflik Thran “I have a local contact there, a witchy woman, with some sense for business too, when you’re there, ask for her, people call her Madame Chesterhope. Just don’t forget to mention you are coming on my advise, or else the bitch might reserve you a trick or two of her own, ahahaha!”.
                          To Chard Dut Jep then!” cheered Badul, and his crew echoed with him.


                          In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud


                            Continued sleep…
                            Egg let free mummy.
                            Please post light later.
                            Franci(‘s) mouse perfect.
                            Eschraiel slowly felt plan.
                            Russian aspects lost (in the) park.


                              State of Marshall VS Vinya Grey
                              extracts of procedure 5057TP on case of unsolved time-blink that may have interfered with the timeline – Aug. 5th, 2237

                              — As you are certainly most aware, Ms Grey, local authorities of the T FGF P (Timespace and Further Geodimensional Flux Police) has recently uncovered a case of unexplainable appearance of a new species within the past.
                              The genetic makeup of this species bears some rather crude indication of human interference, though no official authorization has been recorded on its behalf. Our investigations have led us to believe you may have more than a little to do with this incident, which is, as you are once again quite aware, within the boundaries of decree 5533 on allowed and banned interferences and seeding into the timeline.

                              — Objection, Judge! Prosecutor Arkandiusz is trying to intimidate my client. No proof has been yet produced that may confirm or infirm these allegations.

                              — Mmmm… Objection rejected. Please continue Mr. Arkandiusz.

                              — Shall I remind Ms Grey that the voluntary or involuntary seeding of new species within other areas has most of the time been disastrous, which is the reason of the decree aforementioned. Precedents were numerous even when our ancestors were not even aware of the possibility of time interference. Rabbits in Australia, does it ring any bell?

                              — Objection, Judge! We are not talking about deadly pests here, we are talking about severely handicapped goats! Jeeze, come on…

                              — … Do you mean, the Fainting Goats of our annual Fair, Mr Frey?

                              — Yes, Judge Cornwick.

                              — Oh, that is most interesting… Well, perhaps after this long introduction you may want to introduce your first witness Mr Arkandiusz, Ms… Beryl is that?


                              In reply to: The Story So Far


                                The Ooh Dimension

                                to be continued


                                  Arona, my dear?

                                  The silky voice of Malvina resounded in Arona’s ear, while she was meditating on the implications of the story Vincentius had told her.

                                  — Yes?
                                  — May I borrow you Buckberry and your sabulmantium for a few moments?
                                  — Oh sure, no need to ask… Though I don’t think you require my permission for Buckberry, isn’t he free as I am?
                                  — Oh yes he is, exactly as you said, free as you are

                                  Arona could have sworn she felt a winking energy rippling through her flesh, making some unfamiliar electrical currents crawl underneath her skin. She would have said she was thoroughly disliking it, though she wasn’t really sure if she was.

                                  — Oh, Malvina added as if an innocent afterthought, we are moving by the way, perhaps you may find interesting to join us for the homationing ceremony. You may learn some more about your sabulmantium.
                                  — Well, why not, answered Arona having no idea of what a homationing ceremony could be…
                                  — Very well, please join us in the main entrance, where I am playing the harp. We will be waiting for you.
                                  — I’ll be there in a second.

                                  So, they were moving? Speak about implications… Arona muttered, stroking dozing Mandrake, who had feasted on too many of the moorats crawling inside the moisteous cave tunnels.
                                  I guess I’ll take this astounding elan as a hint that I’ll be going alone she said. A yawn for all answer.
                                  Considering it was Mandrake, that was almost a mark of distinctive affection… or was it rather of affectionate distinction?

                                  Moving? She didn’t want to move, not yet, not like that… And to be honest, with all the stuff in that cave, she sure didn’t want to help pack all of this, be it by magic. What an impossible task.

                                  Vincentius the nanny was taking care of Yikes, so she was confident should anything happen, he would be alright.


                                  On the outside of the cave, the dragons were all lined up, as if waiting for some unknown signal. Leormn first in shades of teal, and his spawns, Buckberry, with the most florid and baroque hues of purple that one could imagine, and the two facetious Heckle and Jeckle in shades of emerald, looking unusually calm.

                                  Malvina, with Leo the little marmoset on her left shoulder, was playing her harp, while Irtak was accompanying her playing a mouth harp.
                                  Some drums had been disposed around, and quite naturally, Arona felt like beating the measure on these, getting slowly and slowly relaxed by the music and guttural sounds produced by the throat singing dragons.
                                  She almost laughed and broke the meditating pattern when she let the memory of Sanso come into her awareness. What a shame he’d missed that, that would have fitted him better than her.

                                  Slowly the sounds stopped, and Malvina very gracefully rose from her stool, and greeted Arona with a loving hug. Her flowing robe was a tender orchid hue with laces of thistle pink, and her silvery peach long flowing hair were giving her the aura of a princess.

                                  — Wait, where are Georges and Salome? She said, are they already gone?
                                  — No, they are waiting for us at the new location, she said with a smile… Now, Leormn will start the ceremony.

                                  Arona almost said Wait again, in anticipation of what was to come, and finally decided to let it flow. The serene look of Malvina and her motherly smile was of a nurturing reassurance.

                                  Outside, in the grassy lands, the dragons had all grown wings and were apparently ready to take off. A pile of conic shaped dirty sand was standing in front of the entrance, that Arona had never seen before.

                                  She could feel Buckberry answer her unspoken question without even a word being uttered. It is soil from the cave, and we will use it now.

                                  Arona watched the dragons rise in the sky full of damp gray clouds, and wondered what they were doing.
                                  They are doing two things, Arona answered Malvina (again that disagreeable habit of reading thoughts, couldn’t help but think Arona, wishing there would be some World around where such thing wouldn’t be so easy), first they are checking what kind of creature are staying with us and following the movement, continued Malvina, ignoring the remark, and second, they are drawing with that sand from the cave a circle to enclose the area we want to move

                                  Arona didn’t dare say the explanations were making her even fuzzier, so she nodded as if abreast of what was going on.

                                  Popping sounds of the dragons blinking in and out to get some more dirt almost made her dizzy, and she forgot the strangest feeling she had when she thought she heard “the area we want to move”.

                                  — Now, continued Mavina, the sabulmantium.

                                  The dragons were now all back, and the pile of sand had disappeared.
                                  Arona’s attention snapped back to herself, and she handed the fine object to the lady. She couldn’t help but notice the glowing eyes of Irtak, who apparently was very eager to see what would happen.
                                  So he will move too, she thought, hope his father won’t be too sad… Why did she felt it was a separation from this place she had found she was liking…

                                  — If you look closely, said Malvina to no one in particular, but Arona took it for herself, you will see how easy it is to come back if you feel so inclined.

                                  At her touch, the coloured sands in the sabulmantium’s transparent dragon shell globe started to move. And all could see the cave being formed, with all the little people, dragons, glukenitches and even Leo and Mandrake… They were all here, enclosed into a circle of sand.

                                  — Now, if you will follow me… said Malvina who traced on the ground a curvy symbol.

                                  And very slowly, as the whole sand scenery inside the sabulmantium was turning in a round, they all felt as though they were dissolving into the air. Yet, they were all solid, and the interior of the cave was still too.
                                  The only thing that was moving was the exterior, twirling and changing, getting out of focus, and moving erratically at the beginning, and then getting close to a focal point. Some fine tuning was occurring.

                                  And in a snap,
                                  The landscape
                                  In all its splendor…

                                  — Greetings! a smiling couple at the entrance of the cave said to the people inside.


                                    Several days later, when the wedding celebrations had finished, nobody could remember anything about it, other than the jokes and poems. In true Russian custom, there had been ample alcohol…well, more than ample, there had been several hospital admissions from alcohol poisoning, drunken brawls and accidents.

                                    Becky swallowed another aspirin, recalling one of the jokes that Sam had told.

                                    As a Lord Wrick was driving down the freeway, his cell phone rang.

                                    Sam continued: Answering, he heard the mummy’s voice urgently warning him, “Wrick, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on the M4. Please be careful!”

                                    “It’s not just one car,” said Wrick, “It’s hundreds of them!”

                                    Sheesh, sighed Becky.

                                    As she poured herself another mug of coffee, a limerick popped into to her head.

                                    There was an Old Crone with a beard,
                                    Who said, ‘It is just as I feared!
                                    Two Owls and a Lynx,
                                    And a Rabbit in Pink,
                                    Have all built their nests in my beard!’

                                    Who had told that one, was it Sean? Becky smiled wanly as another one popped into her head.

                                    There was an Old Abbot whose habits,
                                    Induced him to feed upon rabbits;
                                    When he’d eaten eighteen,
                                    He turned perfectly green,
                                    Upon which he relinquished those habits.

                                    The toast popped up, and as Becky buttered it she remembered a joke of Al’s.

                                    Most dentists chairs go up and down, don’t they? Al asked the wedding guests.
                                    The one I was in went back and forwards.
                                    I thought, “This is unusual.”
                                    The dentist said to me, “Al, get out of the filing cabinet.”


                                      tjmarshall57: hahahaha as if it’s not bad enough with the weeding, now poor girl has blotches all over her face!
                                      tjmarshall57: wedding not weeding
                                      tjmarshall57: do russian wear velis?
                                      tjmarshall57: veils
                                      tjmarshall57: hhhm, blessing by a shaman, plaiting together of the couples hair….(is Becky still blad?)
                                      tjmarshall57: The biggest concern at the wedding is to have enough liquor. A Russian Wedding is an event where everybody must be drunk. No one will be surprised if people drink themselves to unconscious on the wedding – and many do.
                                      tjmarshall57: well, that will appeal to Sean
                                      tjmarshall57: You are probably surprised to find out that a Russian wedding lasts for 2 days!! (Well, at least. Some weddings last as long as a week, and this is something to be proud of and remember for years: it means the couple had enough liquor to go on and on, and enough devoted friends to stay.)
                                      tjmarshall57: The Russian church ceremony is colorful and solemn but the complete traditional ceremony is very long, and as guests and the couple have to stand during the ceremony (there are no benches in Russian churches at all; people must stand during all church services), faints are not rare.
                                      tjmarshall57: right, so a fair amount of fainting and drunkeness then
                                      tjmarshall57: Then the witnesses continue running the wedding, reading jokes and poems, and sometimes asking the new couple questions to make fun of them.
                                      tjmarshall57: Franci will you be my witness, you’d be perfect
                                      tjmarshall57: “Za molodykh!” (“For the newlywed!”)
                                      tjmarshall57: Traditionally money is considered as the best gift, and is given in an envelope. Some time after the beginning of the reception when people start to become drunk the witnesses will ask everybody to give their gifts and one of the witnesses will collect envelopes from the rest of the guests with a tray.
                                      tjmarshall57: Then people have time to dance. First dance is opened by the new couple. After the music starts, there is no exact script anymore, and witnesses can relax a little. They still occasionally announce a toast but do not entertain the guests with jokes and poems; guests by this time are already having lots of fun and are able to entertain themselves.

                                      Movements become quite hectic; some people go out “to refresh”, and at some moment in this movement the bride gets… “stolen”! She disappears, and when the groom starts looking for her, he is faced with a request for a ransom. Usually it’s his buddies who “steal” the bride. A more or less short wrangle about the amount, and he can have his new wife back. But he must watch out – the bride sometimes may be stolen a few times!

                                      tjmarshall57: right, so we have drunkeness, fainting, jokes, poems and insults, and theft and abduction
                                      tjmarshall57: Then there are the bride’s friends – they steal the bride’s shoe. The groom must pay ransom for the shoe too – the guests enjoy watching wrangles.
                                      tjmarshall57: Often guests leave the wedding in such a condition that they cannot remember what happened. If this was the case with the majority of guests, then the wedding was a huge success
                                      tjmarshall57: AHA! This is the key! I will write about it after the wedding, when nobody can remeber anything about it
                                      tjmarshall57: Day two of the wedding:After the meal the bride must “clean” the floor in the room. The fun part is that guests are allowed to mess as much as they want while she is cleaning
                                      tjmarshall57: another part for you!
                                      tjmarshall57: guests on a Russian wedding enjoy it much more than the newlywed couple who are all the time made fools of.
                                      tjmarshall57: The most popular period for wedding ceremonies in Russia was between the Christmas and Shrovetide (a week before the spring fast). This period was called the wedding period.
                                      tjmarshall57: well, the timing is right
                                      tjmarshall57: One of the many superstitions still prevailing among the peasant population of Russia is that, on the occasion of a marriage, the happiness of the newly-married couple is not assured unless the parents of the contracting parties are soaked with water from head to foot. When a marriage takes place in summer this is easily accomplished by ducking the fathers and mothers in the nearest river, but in winter they are laid on the ground and rolled in the snow.
                                      tjmarshall57: who are the parents?
                                      tjmarshall57: Among the Koraks of Siberia a young man seeks for a maiden with considerable dowry in the form of rein-deer
                                      tjmarshall57: oh, well we can have psychoactive reindeer pies, anyway
                                      tjmarshall57: Kovalevsky has well shown that many of the marriage customs of this country are survivals from a primitive and prehistoric age when the woman ruled the household and had more than one husband.
                                      tjmarshall57: hhmmmm
                                      tjmarshall57: it all points to a distant age when the matriarchal system prevailed, and the brother was his sister’s guardian. In Little Russia the brother’s sword is decked with the red berries of the rowan tree, red being the emblem of maidenhood.
                                      tjmarshall57: red fruit sync!
                                      tjmarshall57: no wonder I threw the cherries away!
                                      tjmarshall57: ahahahahha!
                                      franci_free: oh hrllo
                                      franci_free: goodness
                                      franci_free: will need to read back
                                      tjmarshall57: hahahah oh there you are
                                      franci_free: well what a complicated theme
                                      tjmarshall57: haahah well
                                      franci_free: you will have to write about the wedding
                                      tjmarshall57: the key to the whole thing is that everyone was so drunk that nobody can remeber any of it aftrwards
                                      franci_free: hahahah
                                      franci_free: great!
                                      tjmarshall57: thats my angle, I think
                                      tjmarshall57: and s few things fit perfectly
                                      tjmarshall57: the red fruit
                                      tjmarshall57: the time of year
                                      tjmarshall57: the drunkeness, Sean will love that
                                      franci_free: the splotches?
                                      tjmarshall57: well, nobody will remeber that
                                      tjmarshall57: afterwards


                                      In reply to: Snooteries


                                        Dear Snoot,

                                        I think Elias has the answer to the dead mouse incident:

                                        “If you are experiencing joyfulness, happiness, a gift, you are receiving of this, you are experiencing this, and you allow this to fly away. You do not hold to it. Therefore, you view happiness or joyfulness as fleeting, for you merely view it for what it is – an experience – and you allow this experience to fly away. You do not hold to this experience. But if you are creating of what you believe to be a negative experience – a painful, a fearful, a hurtful experience – you hold to this. You play your game of your cat and mouse; and even as the mouse is dead, you continue to bat with the mouse and play and examine and toss about this dead mouse, for it fascinates you!

                                        Within your logic, express to me: is it not logical that you would CHOOSE to be exploring elements that ARE unfamiliar to you, that you would choose to bat the dead mouse for it is unfamiliar?”


                                        The Logical Mouse Batter


                                          So you have requested audience… a deep voice, hoarse as a water’s torrent running and jumping on a river bed smothered with pebbles, asked from the darkness.

                                          Midora was not afraid of the darkness. As best as she could explain it, it was the void of creation, where everything came from, and where all was stripped of intrinsic meaning. It was from this place that she could reach for the answers.

                                          She knew this place, she felt memories swirling around, as uncatchable as a swarm of short-lived sparkles born from the reddish embers of a dying fire.
                                          In this lifetime, she was only a eleven year old girl, but she was as old as this voice within her. There was a time where she was playing with that voice, a time where her being was not yet, and yet a time which was in her future.
                                          She was pure consciousness in that dream time space, and yet, she was feeling more comfortable with physical symbols around herself. So she focused on one of the symbols that she knew would help her stabilize her vibration, and in doing so, all the small particles of golden light around her started to swirl and coalesced into a dream body.

                                          She was in front of a cave, in a mountainous area. This body provided her a slowing down of the stream of information that came to her, and she could manipulate more efficiently the interaction with that huge presence she felt. The precipitous rocky environment was a symbol of that steadiness and slowing down and also, for her benefit of her beliefs in that acquiring such information might be a difficult task.
                                          Now she had identified it, she could more easily dispel the obstacles on the path to the cave. The cave of course, was her symbol for reaching into her deep inner nature. And the darkness was only a fitting blank canvas for herself to project and translate the energy interactions.
                                          All of that she knew, as it was knowledge embedded into herself that she could more easily access into this trance-like state, in her room in that location in space and time of 2112 in New Venice. And she knew that also for she was taught by her parents, Bart and Oscar, on how to access it.

                                          The voice was inside the cave. And no sooner had she thought of it that she was finding the whole place morphing into a vast room built into the rock, in the middle of which a majestic golden dragon was slowly breathing.
                                          She had translated the vast energy as that of a dragon, but she knew when she felt into it that it had possible variations, one of which being that of a she-phoenix, of various sizes, where sizes where symbolic of its age and wisdom.

                                          You may call me Naasir the dragon grinned at Midora. You are right, in a sense, you can consider yourself being born from me, though in your true form, you are equally august and splendid as I am. You will, in time, have access to that form, again. But for now, I can provide some answers to your questions. The only thing is… Are your questions up to the challenge? he added with the most benevolent smirk his wide toothed grin could convey.

                                          Midora pondered for a moment, beholding the perfection of her translation of the energy. Each scale on the body of the dragon was a work of art. His half-closed eyes, with an amber shiny center, and teal border were equally mesmerizing.


                                          — What is the significance of these books I have inherited from my parents?

                                          As you know, this place is the place were significance fades away, or radiates, depending on the direction in which you look, only to be replaced by fulfillment. Your… books hence, have no significance, I would say, for me at least. What do you want to know about them?

                                          — They were passed from people to people, and as far as I understood, they started to be imprinted with these people’s stories, starting from my grand-parents Indy and Cuthbert. But there are still blank pages inside them, and no seeming order from one page to the other. I think that’s why my grand-parents grew tired of it.


                                          — What I mean is… I feel attracted to them, and yet I don’t understand how they work…

                                          These… are not mere books as your ancestors understood them. In fact, they were crafted by a distant civilization, not denizens from this dimension in which you are presently focused, but travelers, with whom you can still interact by means of this device. When the “books” traveled into this dimension, they retained their initial properties and functioning, but their initial shapes were translated into something as close as you could understand so that you would allow them to appear into your reality. This knowing might help you unravel their true nature.

                                          Another thing. Books are energy deposits, in your reality. There was a misunderstanding in that they were thought to be able to liber or to free your memory by imprinting it into the pages, but memories are alive and not separate from you. They live as you live and change them. So, the books are still being written, and that which you can read is the part of the book which is the most probable story in which you choose to insert yourself, so as to explore it. You can alter these probabilities, even if you might doubt it, but as you chose them, they are much a part of your design of your reality, that which you chose to explore. In short, a complete book means the end of your exploration, and prompts for a disengagement for you to continue other explorations, and on the contrary, a blank books means a boundless realm of probable explorations.

                                          — Can you tell me why there are two of them?

                                          They are more than a couple. These ones are the only known ones that your ancestors happen to have found. Most of them have been destroyed over time in this dimension, as their possibilities were heavily cloaked. They are all linked together, as you will find out. You may gather some answers in finding Badul

                                          And with that, Midora was once again floating in an intermediate state hung between space and time, longing for her physical body. She woke up strangely energized…


                                            Uncle Grishenka scowled. The fire had gone out and the kettle was cold. He sat down on the stool beside the grate, his grizzled chin resting on his stained shirtfront, his clumsy gnarled hands hanging in his lap. Nothing in his dull slow brain suggested to him that he might light the fire himself. Zhanochka hadn’t kept the fire going and so there was no fire.

                                            Grishenka continued to sit, and scowl.

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